Kirani James & Harvey Glance at Tacoma International Airport, Seattle

Kirani James & Harvey Glance at Tacoma International Airport, Seattle

by Michael Bascombe

NEW YORK, May 13, 2015 – Olympic 400 metres champion Kirani James of Grenada is on a mission this season – to improve performances and maintain consistency.

James, who surrendered the global title at the IAAF World Championship in Moscow in 2013, is preparing for this year’s championship to be held in Beijing this summer.

He leads the world’s quarter-milers with the top two fastest times so far – 44.22 at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa and 44.31 at the Sun Angel Classic in Arizona.

James will be competing at the IAAF Diamond League Shanghai on Sunday and the organisers have put together another star-studded field including James’ perennial rival LaShawn Merritt.

But they should expect intense competition from Kevin Borlée (Belgium), Isaac Makwala (Botswana), Tony McQuay (USA), David Verburg (USA), Renny Quow (T&T), Luguelin Santos (Dominican Republic) and Chenbin Zhu (China).

“The mindset remains the same, go out, compete and represent Grenada and those affiliated with me,” James told GrenadaSports shortly before boarding a flight in Seattle for Shanghai.

“My plan is to maintain consistency for the season, with good performances and doing the right things,” he said.

James reiterated that the men’s one-lap event has become a crowd attraction with keen rivalry among the competitors.

“I have been saying this for a while now – the 400m is the event. It has been competitive because there are a lot of guys capable of doing great things especially a lot of young guys,” he said.

“Hopefully, it will be a good race (Shanghai) with all these guys running competitive times this season.”

The IAAF Diamond League is comprised of 14 of the best invitational track and field meetings in the world. The meetings are spread across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA, and include the top tier of the IAAF’s global one-day meeting competition structure.

This series of 14 meetings, which began in 2010, showcases 32 event disciplines which are carefully distributed among the meetings.

In each discipline, there is a Diamond Race with points available throughout the 14-meeting season. Winners of each Diamond Race receive a USD$40,000 cash prize and a spectacular Diamond Trophy.

2015 IAAF Diamond League Calendar

Doha, QAT – May 15

Shanghai, CHN – May 17

Eugene, USA – May 30

Rome, ITA – June 4

Birmingham, GBR – June 7

Oslo, NOR – June 11

New York, USA – June 13

Paris, FRA – July 4

Lausanne, SUI – July 9

Monaco, MON – July 17

London, GBR – July 24-25

Stockholm, SWE – July 30

Zurich, SUI – September 3

Brussels, BEL – September 11

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